Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more." John 8:10-11
The interaction between Jesus and this woman in John 8 is breathtaking. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful interactions in Scripture. In two sentences, Jesus both let this woman know that she was accepted by Him and called her to stop living sinfully. As we think about the people in our lives who we want to see come to Christ, Jesus' interaction with this woman serves as a good example of how to show others God's love in hopes of bringing them to Christ.
In John 8, religious leaders took a woman to Jesus who had been caught committing adultery. While she was in front of a crowd, they asked Jesus what should be done because of her sin. He told them that the person without sin should throw a stone at her. What happened next was incredible. One by one, everyone who had accused her walked away until no one accusing her was left. Then, Jesus asked her where her accusers had gone. She acknowledged that no one had condemned her. Then Jesus said two sentences that I believe changed her life. "Neither do I. Go and sin no more" (verse 11).
Jesus communicated two things to this woman in John 8:11. He told her that he was not condemning her for her sin. He was actually the only person there that day who was without sin. He could have thrown the stone at her. Instead, He showed her grace. He showed her acceptance. He was not approving of her sin, but He was accepting her as a person, worthy of grace and a new chance to live differently. At the same time, he told her to stop sinning. He spoke the truth to her that He did not approve of her sin. All of this was done in love.
Friends, what would it look like if we interacted with people in the way that Jesus did with this woman? What if we treated all people with grace, letting them know that we are not condemning them for their sin, yet at the same time encouraging them that there is a better way than their sinful lifestyle they are living? Let's commit to showing the unbelievers in our lives that we do not judge or condemn them, yet at the same time point them to Jesus.
As you consider this interaction between Jesus and the woman in John 8, take your journal or a notebook and write your answer to this prompt: How can I treat unbelievers in my life the same way that Jesus treated this woman? What does it look like to show unbelievers that you accept them and at the same time, call them to live differently and follow Jesus?
Read John 8:1-11 (NLT)
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”